Edwin T. Sachs and Angelo J. Lewis . . .

Discuss the historical aspects of magic, including memories, or favorite stories.
Tom Sawyer
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Edwin T. Sachs and Angelo J. Lewis . . .

Postby Tom Sawyer » August 10th, 2013, 6:42 pm

Hi All,

Today I was rummaging through some stuff in connection with a recent move, and I ran across a book I bought on eBay three years ago. It was written by J.A. Hammerton and is entitled Books and Myself: Memoirs of an Editor. My copy was issued in the mid-1940s, but there may have been other printings as well.

I suspect that the book is rather common. It seems that at least five copies are available for sale on eBay at the moment, and eleven on Biblio.com.

The book (on page 161) has a very brief reference to Angelo Lewis as a person who attended luncheons of the Whitefriars Club. The book indicates that he often did so.

Of course, the information that Professor Hoffmann was a member of the Whitefriars Club is old hat, and as I recall, from advertisements (relating to Hoffmann manuscripts) in The Magic Wand, Hoffmann performed magic for the membership on one or more occasions.

Possibly more interesting is the fact that facing page 81 is a halftone of a photograph of various Whitefriars Club members and others. Edwin T. Sachs is among those depicted, along with his wife. But I would not become overly happy about that, because the images of the people mentioned are rather small.

Other than the photograph just mentioned, the only picture of Sachs I know of is the one printed in Stanyon's Magic. (The portrait of Sachs in the Fleming version of Sleight of Hand was based on the one in Magic.)

--Tom Sawyer

Edwin Corrie
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Re: Edwin T. Sachs and Angelo J. Lewis . . .

Postby Edwin Corrie » August 13th, 2013, 2:39 am

I'm one of those who clicked on this post (two or three times, actually). :)

I would have loved to see the discussion develop but didn't have anything to add myself, apart from perhaps a comment about his parents' good taste in names. It does seem strange that there isn't more information about the author of one of the most important books on magic. All I could find on the internet were a few things about one Edwin O. Sachs.

Is it possible to post a copy of the photo you found?

Tom Sawyer
Posts: 310
Joined: January 7th, 2012, 6:44 pm

Re: Edwin T. Sachs and Angelo J. Lewis . . .

Postby Tom Sawyer » August 13th, 2013, 3:18 am

Hi Edwin,

Thanks for the comments!

I'm not sure about posting the photo. But it's not a super-revelatory photo.

If you search Google Books for "E.T. Sachs," some information comes up. I posted some info on one of my blogs based on such information a long time ago.

Sachs was a member of the Thames Hare and Hounds, and the following paragraph is an edited version of a paragraph that used to be on one of my blogs:

The Country (a periodical) has a number of references to E.T. Sachs, in various different issues. “Hare and Hounds” was a feature that appeared regularly in that periodical. Various cross-country clubs (involved in foot-steeplechases, paper-chasing, and the like) existed in that era, with a variety of names.  Edwin T. Sachs belonged to the Thames Hare and Hounds.  The group was involved in various running activities.  I gather (from a discussion of an American running-club) that the Thames Hare and Hounds had detailed rules for the sport of “hare and hounds” (which I have not seen).  But generally it involved two “hares” (runners), each with a bag of small pieces of paper.  The hares would have a head-start on the pack, but would be required to lay down a path, consisting of a trail of paper from the bags.

On Google Books, there are also at least a couple of references to Sachs as a conjurer -- but nothing really detailed that I have seen.

It does seem a bit disappointing that so little has been written about Sachs's life (as far as I know).

--Tom Sawyer

Edwin Corrie
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Re: Edwin T. Sachs and Angelo J. Lewis . . .

Postby Edwin Corrie » August 14th, 2013, 3:56 am

I did a bit more searching and found the following:

Eglinton exposed: Textually extracted from the "Journals" and "Proceedings" of the British Society for Psychical Research
"The contents include the full & complete report of Mr. Richard Hodgson; plus the findings of several fellow investigators; plus a detailed record of the performances of Mr. S. J. Davey, prominent amateur conjurer. Also some references to Edwin T. Sachs ... Angelo K. Lewis ... and to the famous firm of Maskelyne and Cooke.".
http://www.getcited.org/pub/101737454

Biography for Edwin T. Sachs
http://www.scoop-database.com/list/atoz_journalist/s

I haven't had time to look into them, and maybe they are known already. But it certainly is strange that so little has been written about Sachs.

Tom Sawyer
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Re: Edwin T. Sachs and Angelo J. Lewis . . .

Postby Tom Sawyer » August 17th, 2013, 7:32 pm

A periodical called The London Bicycle Club Gazette has quite a few references to Edwin T. Sachs. The volume for 1883 has references to him as an actor, as a conjurer, and as a lacrosse player, as well as references to certain brothers.

This link is relevant:

http://books.google.com/books?id=enNMAA ... hs&f=false

--Tom Sawyer

Tom Sawyer
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Re: Edwin T. Sachs and Angelo J. Lewis . . .

Postby Tom Sawyer » August 27th, 2013, 12:26 am

Hi All,

In a post above, Edwin Corrie refers to Edwin O. Sachs. Below are a couple of relevant comments.

Hopkins's Magic (first issued in 1897) includes a bibliography which was one of the first conjuring bibliographies, perhaps the first important magic bibliography, compiled by Henry Ridgely Evans. The mistakes and omissions of information probably indicate how difficult it was to obtain bibliographical information on magic books in those days.

According to the preface to the book, William E. Robinson and H.J. Burlingame assisted on the bibliography.

Anyway, that bibliography attributes Sleight of Hand to Edwin O. Sachs -- who was a well-known architect. Of course, we know that Edwin T. Sachs was the actual author of Sleight of Hand.

Edwin O. Sachs is also referred to in the Hopkins book on pages 251, 252, and 282.

Whether Edwin O. was related to Edwin T., I do not know.

--Tom Sawyer

Tom Sawyer
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Re: Edwin T. Sachs and Angelo J. Lewis . . .

Postby Tom Sawyer » August 28th, 2013, 2:22 am

Hi All,

Speaking of Edwin T. Sachs and Sleight of Hand, I have for some time been fascinated by the oft-seen statement that the book was first published (as to the book version) in 1877. Much of the reason for this fascination has been the fact that I have never seen any "proof" of that -- just the statement, without support. (Maybe that proof has been stated somewhere, but I do not remember ever seeing any.)

If you look at The Literary World, December 15, 1876, you might conclude that Part I was published in 1876. Also, Part I was advertised in The Country, November 30, 1876.

I do not know of proof that Part II was published as a separate volume other than years later.

The Academy, for April 13, 1878, shows that the whole work was available at that time (or approximately that time). That is the earliest concrete evidence I know of relating to publication of the whole work.

Much, if not all, of the work was serialized, of course, but I am not addressing that above.

I'm not saying the whole work was not published in 1877. I am saying I do not know what that date is based on.

--Tom Sawyer
At least for the time being, I have taken down my S.W. Erdnase blog.

Edwin Corrie
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Re: Edwin T. Sachs and Angelo J. Lewis . . .

Postby Edwin Corrie » August 29th, 2013, 3:44 am

It’s strange that two people with such similar names (Edwin O. and Edwin T.) were involved in magic around the same time, and possibly would be even stranger if they had been related.

The confusion surrounding the publication date is also surprising. How is it that we can't rely on the date given in the book itself? I don’t have any information sources that you won’t also have, but the Preface to the Fleming 4th edition of Sleight of Hand mentions the two forms of the first edition of the book, one as a single volume and one in two parts, as well as a “very scarce de luxe edition” which apparently “had not been noted in any bibliography” (but which must have existed because Fleming goes on to describe it). The only other information I could find was in “The Milbourne Christopher Library” Vol. 1, which lists a “ca. 1877 edition” that “possibly precedes the one volume edition bound in gilt-pictorial cloth, with one less page of ads than the cloth edition”.

Bill Mullins
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Re: Edwin T. Sachs and Angelo J. Lewis . . .

Postby Bill Mullins » August 29th, 2013, 9:59 am

Edwin Corrie wrote:It’s strange that two people with such similar names (Edwin O. and Edwin T.) were involved in magic around the same time.


Is there any evidence that Edwin O. was involved in magic? The attribution of "Sleight of Hand" to him is clearly erroneous. The places he is mentioned in Hopkins's book only describe his writings on theater architecture, and don't indicate any particular interest in magic.

Edwin Corrie
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Re: Edwin T. Sachs and Angelo J. Lewis . . .

Postby Edwin Corrie » August 29th, 2013, 10:36 am

Bill Mullins wrote:Is there any evidence that Edwin O. was involved in magic? The attribution of "Sleight of Hand" to him is clearly erroneous. The places he is mentioned in Hopkins's book only describe his writings on theater architecture, and don't indicate any particular interest in magic.


"Involved in magic" was going a bit too far. I was writing in a hurry, and what I meant was the fact that Edwin O. was mentioned at all in Albert Hopkins' book. But you're right, there's no implication of any connection with magic. Just a coincidence.

Tom Sawyer
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Re: Edwin T. Sachs and Angelo J. Lewis . . .

Postby Tom Sawyer » August 29th, 2013, 3:53 pm

Hi All,

This post relates to a few things Edwin Corrie stated earlier in this thread, about different versions of the first edition of Sleight of Hand.

I don't think I have ever seen a copy of the first edition of Sleight of Hand, and I tend to think it is very scarce. I do have the impression that I have seen copies for sale in the past -- though quite infrequently. In this regard, the book can probably be contrasted with the first edition of Modern Magic, of which I have seen quite a few copies for sale through the years (though not necessarily in very good condition).

In is my understanding that the first edition of Sleight of Hand was undated. However, even if the book had the date 1877 on the title page, one would not necessarily be able to rely on that. The first edition of The Secrets of Conjuring and Magic (by Robert-Houdin, translated by Professor Hoffmann) was dated 1878 on the title page, but the book was first published in 1877. That is just one example.

The reason usually given for the post-dating of books is that when a book was published toward the end of the year (in time for Christmas), it would indicate the recency of the book. Otherwise, on January 1, the book might seem a year old to some people.

An excellent image of a first edition of Sleight of Hand (from the John Ergatoudis collection) is found in a 2005 Bonhams auction listing:

https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/13362/lot/187/

If you click on the image, an enlarged view is shown. The listing shows that the book sold for more than $1,000.

The book appears to be rather slender, but whether that means anything about its content, I do not know. J.B. Findlay's Ninth Collector's Annual lists apparently two first editions with 204 pages.

Anyway, the second edition of Sleight of Hand describes itself as "greatly enlarged" -- but I do not have the impression that this means that the book doubled its length, yet the second edition has 408 pages, as opposed to the 204 that Findlay mentions for the first edition.

So, I kind of think that the books with 204 pages consist of Part I, or Part II, but not both parts. But that is only a guess.

My copy of the Fleming edition is not available to me at the moment, but I believe that Paul Fleming quoted Stanley Collins as mentioning the orientation of the "hand" on the cover. Obviously, the hand is vertical on the Ergatoudis book. On the second edition, the hand is on the spine, and it is diagonal.

Findlay's Tenth Collector's Annual has an article on Sleight of Hand. I have looked at that fairly recently, and as I recall, it does not do much to elucidate the nuances of the various editions of the book.

--Tom Sawyer

Tom Sawyer
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Re: Edwin T. Sachs and Angelo J. Lewis . . .

Postby Tom Sawyer » August 30th, 2013, 3:38 pm

Hi All,

A book by H.E. Heather, entitled Cards and Card Tricks, appears to be germane to this thread, as should become clear in the course of this post. I doubt that the book is particularly scarce, as there are at least three copies on eBay at this moment. (I know nothing about the publication history of the book, the number of editions that have appeared, or when the eBay copies appeared.)

In the "olden days," the book was often advertised along with Sleight of Hand (and other works). For instance, in an L. Upcott Gill catalog at the back of my copy of the second edition of Sleight of Hand, both works are advertised.

The earliest advertisement I have seen for the Heather book is in The Law Times, June 9, 1877. The same advertisement lists Sleight of Hand (just Part I). Here is a link:

http://books.google.com/books?id=_NswAQ ... ks&f=false

You might be asking, "What does this really have to do with Sleight of Hand?"

I know of at least two things.

First, the Heather book (in at least one of its incarnations) appeared in a binding style very similar to that of the Ergatoudis copy of the first edition of Sleight of Hand, mentioned earlier in this thread. The Heather cover is depicted on Google Books. I suspect that it is a very scarce version. Here is a link:

http://books.google.com/books?id=KmY3AQ ... CDoQ6AEwAA

Secondly, based on images in one of the eBay listings, at least two of the illustrations in the Heather book are nearly identical to illustrations in early editions of Sachs (well, at least the second edition). I don't have a copy of the Heather book, but it seems likely that other illustrations in Heather are also nearly the same as in Sachs.

On a quick look, the illustrations appear identical, but on a close examination, it seems that they were re-engraved. (I suspect that the illustrations were based indirectly on wood-engravings.) If I had to guess, I would say that the illustrations first appeared in Sachs, since Part I of Sachs first appeared in 1876, as discussed earlier in this thread.

--Tom Sawyer

Tom Sawyer
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Re: Edwin T. Sachs and Angelo J. Lewis . . .

Postby Tom Sawyer » September 2nd, 2013, 4:48 am

Hi All,

I'm not too sure to what degree magicians are interested in the history of "families" of magicians of yesterday, where the family members are not otherwise known in the magic world. I suppose that, for the most part, the findable information is not great in quantity. Below are a few brief notes on the families of Hoffmann and Sachs.

One of my main magic interests is Professor Hoffmann. For me, information about Hoffmann's family is of extremely high interest. The fact that Hoffmann's wife's father (Joseph Avery) was a manufacturer of window blinds is greatly fascinating. (On page 245 of Professor Hoffmann's Drawing-Room Amusements, Hoffmann mentions "J. Avery & Co." as a supplier of curtains and services in connection with amateur theaters.)

I learned too late of a postcard written by Hoffmann's son. The postcard had been offered as a philatelic item on eBay, and in it, Hoffmann's son Leonard made reference to his own wife (the buyer of the item kindly supplied me with details). Leonard's wife's name was Fanny Ramsay Schultze.

Here is a relevant link to Papers Past, a great website of the National Library of New Zealand:

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi-bi ... 40728.2.12

Leonard was, by the way, an artist. An image of at least one of his paintings, a beautiful landscape, is easily findable on the internet. To the best of my knowledge, he largely went by the name Avery Lewis.

I have found out some other things about Hoffmann's family as well, but not necessarily a great deal.

Now, in the case of Edwin T. Sachs's family, I suspect that the information is, overall, somewhat more abundant. Searching the internet quickly reveals quite a few references to people with names such as F. Sachs (a brother), T.R. Sachs (another brother), Thomas Ransom Sachs (the father), and certain others with the same last name who I believe were related. I'm pretty sure that F. Sachs was Frank Sachs. It is not beyond the realm of possibility that T.R had the same name as his father.

The following link indicates that there were at least the three brothers reflected above (F., T.R., and E.T.):

http://books.google.com/books?id=enNMAA ... 22&f=false

T.R. Sachs (the brother, I believe) was a jeweler. Here is a link to an image of an item of jewelry by T.R. Sachs:

http://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/eca ... 050-92.pdf

As for Sachs's father, it appears that he was a rather eminent man. At least two portraits of him are easily findable on Google Books.

Two addresses which tend to validate some of the information above are the following London addresses:

22 Camden Street, N.W. (Edwin T. Sachs)

22 Hyde Park Place, W. (Various family members)

In view of the extensive use of initials in the statement of names, I suppose that the situation may be a bit more complex than is reflected above.

--Tom Sawyer

Tom Sawyer
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Re: Edwin T. Sachs and Angelo J. Lewis . . .

Postby Tom Sawyer » September 24th, 2013, 9:19 pm

Hi All,

Here is a little quiz. I am not sure if it is very difficult, or very easy, or somewhere in between. I tend to think it is rather difficult.

I think I have run across the earliest reference to Sleight of Hand in another book of magic. At least, I think it is probably the earliest separate reference to the work in magic literature. (I can't say for certain.)

If anyone wants to guess the title of the work that the reference appeared in, please do so. (If you just happen to know, and you are not really guessing, all the better.)

As usual: no prizes.

I suspect that many of you do know the answer, or could make a reasonable guess.

Searching via Google (or the like) kind of defeats the purpose of the quiz.

By the way, there are one or two things which tend to make the question a bit tricky.

I'll reveal my answer sometime tomorrow.

--Tom Sawyer

Tom Sawyer
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Re: Edwin T. Sachs and Angelo J. Lewis . . .

Postby Tom Sawyer » September 25th, 2013, 5:51 pm

Hi All,

Here is my answer to the quiz question propounded in the previous post:

The Secrets of Conjuring and Magic, by Robert-Houdin, translated by Professor Hoffmann. That book was originally published in 1877.

The reference to Sleight of Hand is in a footnote by Hoffmann beginning on page 184.

Again, it is possible that this is not the earliest reference (in magic literature) to Sleight of Hand (apart from references within the work itself) -- but to me it seems likely that it is.

--Tom Sawyer

Tom Sawyer
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Joined: January 7th, 2012, 6:44 pm

Re: Edwin T. Sachs and Angelo J. Lewis . . .

Postby Tom Sawyer » September 29th, 2013, 3:57 am

Hi All,

My most recent quiz was a bit of a flop. Here is another no-prize quiz-question:

How old was Edwin T. Sachs when he started writing Sleight of Hand?

I think I know the answer to that with a high degree of certainty -- and it was not easy to figure out! (And I only figured it out less than two weeks ago.)

This time, I’m not even asking that anyone try to guess.

But as a “fun exercise,” you might want to think about it a little.

I expect to reveal my answer fairly soon.

--Tom Sawyer

I.M. Magician
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Re: Edwin T. Sachs and Angelo J. Lewis . . .

Postby I.M. Magician » September 29th, 2013, 10:24 am

Was he 24?

Tom Sawyer
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Re: Edwin T. Sachs and Angelo J. Lewis . . .

Postby Tom Sawyer » September 29th, 2013, 6:01 pm

Hi All,

Thanks to I.M. Magician for getting involved!

That ("24") actually could be correct, even though it is not really the answer I was looking for.

A more objective question -- and perhaps the one I should have asked -- would be, “How old was Edwin T. Sachs when the first serialized installment (as found in The Bazaar, The Exchange and Mart) was published?”

Anyway, my answer is "25."

I'm not completely certain of that. But according to a little item in The Bazaar, The Exchange and Mart during 1876 (on Google Books), the series began there in late December 1875. At least that is strongly implied, if I have not misread it.

Sachs would have turned 25 in April of 1875 (see, e.g., MagicPedia for birth information).

So, "25" seems to me to be the best answer, although it does rely on guesswork as to how long he had been working on the book before the first installment appeared.

Another little wrinkle is that, in the January 5, 1878, issue of The Academy, E.H. Palmer makes reference to: "a very useful pamphlet on sleight-of-hand by Mr. Sachs, reprinted from The Queen newspaper."

Whether he was 24, or 25, or something else, he was definitely younger than I have basically assumed for many years.

--Tom Sawyer

Tom Sawyer
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Re: Edwin T. Sachs and Angelo J. Lewis . . .

Postby Tom Sawyer » October 14th, 2013, 4:11 am

Hi All,

Here are a few brief comments on Sachs, Hoffmann, and the so-called "bullet-catching" trick.

Both Hoffmann and Sachs explained versions of the trick. That was in Modern Magic (Hoffmann) and Sleight of Hand (Sachs). Both explanations make the trick appear to me to be unacceptably dangerous, regardess of the age of the performer.

Sachs called it “The Harmless Shot,” and Hoffmann called it “The Charmed Bullet.” The methods they explained differ somewhat from each other.

From Sachs’s description, it’s plain that he performed the trick. I’m not sure whether Hoffmann performed it, but he definitey performed "The Demon Marksman," a closely related trick that he described in More Magic.

In the July 1887 issue of Baily’s Monthly Magazine of Sports and Pastimes, in an article called “Conjuring,” the (anonymous) writer quotes Hoffmann as having said, “I advise you not to attempt it; but if you do, be very careful.” I can’t remember ever having seen that elsewhere, and actually it does not really sound like typical Hoffmann wording to me.

Speaking of Baily’s Monthly Magazine of Sports and Pastimes, the November 1910 issue carried an article about Sachs. This was after his death. I have not seen the whole article, but it appears to have some interesting insights regarding Sachs.

--Tom Sawyer

Edwin Corrie
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Re: Edwin T. Sachs and Angelo J. Lewis . . .

Postby Edwin Corrie » October 16th, 2013, 10:30 am

A bit off track perhaps, but I happened to find an article by Sachs in "Strand" magazine:

"A Parlour Seance with David Devant" by E.T. Sachs
The Strand 1901 - vol xxii, p735-743, July-Dec 1901 9pp
http://ia700503.us.archive.org/28/items/TheStrandMagazineAnIllustratedMonthly/TheStrandMagazine1901bVol.XxiiJul-dec.pdf

The article is reproduced in "The Wizard Exposed" (http://midwestmagic.net/shop/item.aspx?itemid=6824), so it's obviously already well known. Interesting anyway, though.

Tom Sawyer
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Re: Edwin T. Sachs and Angelo J. Lewis . . .

Postby Tom Sawyer » November 25th, 2013, 8:46 pm

The article mentioned has some great pictures of David Devant and his young son. (I do not know how many other children, if any, were part of Devant's family.)

I think at least a couple of the tricks Devant explains there are also found in Sleight of Hand, by Edwin T. Sachs, who interviewed Devant for the article mentioned by Edwin Corrie.

One of the tricks is a variation of the trick with the knife and the little pieces of paper, explained in Sleight of Hand. Devant works the trick with six pieces of paper, instead of the four.

--Tom Sawyer

Tom Sawyer
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Re: Edwin T. Sachs and Angelo J. Lewis . . .

Postby Tom Sawyer » April 1st, 2016, 3:54 pm

Hi All,

I can hardly believe that over two years have gone by since the most recent post on this thread! Anyway, those of you who are interested in Angelo J. Lewis might want to take heed of the following, about a new work by Mike Goodall.

As some of you are aware, I have a blog that deals with card-game booklets published by Charles Goodall & Son basically during the 1868-1922 era.

In theory, the Goodall booklets should be of interest to magic collectors, because Professor Hoffmann wrote 15 or so such booklets for Goodall, with titles like Bridge, Bridge Varieties, Patience Games, Five Hundred, Quinto, Rubicon Bezique, Five Hundred, and others.

Anyway, Mike Goodall (who is one of the principal collectors of Goodall material) has created a book or booklet dealing with the Goodall card-game booklets.

Mike’s new work should be of interest to magic book collectors who are assembling semi-comprehensive collections, or to those who are interested in magic bibliographies, or to those who are interested in Professor Hoffmann.

The title is Goodall Card Game Booklets 1868-1922.

I don’t have any financial interest in the book, though Mike has been a friend for years, and in fact he is mentioned in dozens of the posts on my Goodall blog. (There are over 300 posts on that blog at this time, and Mike Goodall is mentioned in maybe 48 of those, and he kindly provided me with a lot of the information that appears in that blog.)

I do not know what the price is, but on my Goodall blog I have a write-up regarding the work. Here is a link:

Tom's blog on Goodall booklets.

--Tom Sawyer
At least for the time being, I have taken down my S.W. Erdnase blog.


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